Betty White

"If you live without passion, you go through life without leaving any footprints."

Betty White, American Actress and Comedian, 1922-2021

Born in Oak Park, Illinois, Betty White is known for her work in movies and television and her love of animals. She specialized in situation comedies, most memorably The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls. In the latter, she played the wisecracking Rose Nylund from 1985 to 1992. She was so universally beloved that on what would have been her 100th birthday in 2022, Google displayed cascades of roses honoring her character and the phrase “Thank you for being a friend” alongside search results for her name.

White’s acting career began in Los Angeles, where her first paid gig was a margarine commercial. She starred in and hosted various TV shows, then, in a trailblazing move in 1952 at the age of 30, she founded Bandy Productions to produce her own projects. 

She was an animal lover since childhood and estimated her family had 20 dogs at one point. She hosted and produced countless shows about animals, such as The Pet Set in the 1970s, a show about celebrities and their animals. She supported improvements at the Los Angeles Zoo, and became an honorary Forest Ranger. Her official fan club is called Bets’ Pets, and members’ dues go to animal advocacy. 

Betty White appeared on the game show Password, hosted by Allen Ludden, who would become her third husband. Her charm, independence, and wit is evidenced by the name of her biography, If You Ask Me (and I Know You Won’t) published in 2011, one of eight books she wrote or co-wrote. She never had children, preferring to focus on her career and animal advocacy.

Later in her career she performed alongside heartthrobs Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock in The Proposal, both of whom praised her comedic timing. In her 90s, she became the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live. White died of a stroke on New Year’s Eve 2021, just weeks before her 100th birthday.


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